The modern world is a challenging place for foresters. Trends an ocean away can impact local forest management, and foresters find that in this age of globalization, their role as land stewards has evolved from specialist to generalist, from purely local to international. Decisions must be weighed socially, economically and environmentally. WORLD FOREST INSTITUTE (WFI)'s programs and conferences offer a unique and exciting opportunity for forestry professionals to gain the broader perspectives, connections and skill set demanded by this era of change.
Our International Fellowship program offers professionals a six to twelve month sabbatical to network with US forestry professionals and to learn from, and exchange ideas on a wide variety of forestry issues. Our conferences bring investors, businesses, conservationists, scientists and land owners together to discuss the rapidly evolving arena of forestland ownership and the impact of those shifts
The WFI Fellowship Program brings forestry and forest products professionals from around the world to work at the World Forest Institute for 6 to 12 months. Over 80 Fellows from 25 countries have participated in the program.
The Fellowship Program offers participants many opportunities, such as:
* Conducting studies in the Pacific Northwest related to forestry
* Meeting with many different forestry organizations and corporations
* Building a network of forestry contacts, and
* Promoting the dissemination and exchange of information regarding global forest resources and their utilization
Fellows leave the program with a solid understanding of how the US forestry sector operates and who the key players are. Additionally, Fellows gain invaluable cultural experience and English language skills.
The Fellowship is a Blend of Research, Networking, and Cultural Exchange
There are currently three main components to the program:
1. Conducting a Project
Fellows arrive with a major research proposal developed in conjunction with his/her sponsor. We favor proposals that are policy or market-oriented, employ good use of being situated in the Pacific Northwest, and cover a topic of interest to the international forestry community. Research projects may involve information gathering, interviewing, visiting other organizations, or planning a conference. Fellows typically summarize their projects in a report published by the World Forest Institute.
Past projects have included:
* studies on sustainable forestry initiatives
* analysis of international timber markets
* opportunities in plantation investments
* certification of wood products
* the development of carbon credit systems
* a comparative analysis of regional forest management plans across several nations
* market studies on US wood demand
* use of recycled construction materials
* green building techniques
* interagency fire management
2. Networking with public and private forestry organizations in the US, especially in the Pacific Northwest
Networking is largely accomplished by site visits to forestry agencies, research labs, universities, public and private timberlands, trade associations, mills, and corporations. A combination of about four site visits or meetings per month are scheduled for Fellows. Fellows participating less than 12 months should note that most field excursions are conducted during summer months between June and October in order to avoid the rainy season. Fellows are also encouraged to arrange their own meetings to suit personal interests.
Typical site visits will include (but are not limited to):
* Nursery, forestland, and harvesting operations
* Various public agencies, including the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Forestry, US Fish and Wildlife, and Oregon State University
* Meetings with key non-profit organizations and local groups
* Discussions with key persons involved in forest certification, forest products marketing, consulting, international trade, public planning, and legislation
* Manufacturing and processing facilities for lumber, pulp, paper, engineered wood products, and secondary wood products
3. Educational Outreach
Fellows will be considered the staff expert for their region of the world. They respond to public requests for formal presentations to forestry professionals, general audiences, and school children.
Educational outreach opportunities may include:
* Fielding public inquiries regarding the Fellow's region of the world
* Attendance at multiple conferences and workshops
* Participation in the International Educators Institute, a seven-day tour with award winning educators and natural resources professionals
* Promoting WFI through published articles
* Lecturing at area colleges
* Speaking to elementary schools
Fellowship candidates should meet these minimum qualifications:
* Bachelor's degree or equivalent in the field of forestry, natural resources, or other related degree. Alternatively, candidates with at least four years of forest-related work experience may apply.
* Proficiency in English, both written and spoken.
* At least 21 years of age.
* Initial research proposal on a topic relevant to forestry in the home country. The project should take advantage of forestry in the Pacific Northwest.
* Ability to be self-motivated, to work independently towards a clear research goal or output, and to work with colleagues from diverse backgrounds.
* Obtain funding for the Fellowship. Download a cost description here.
WFI brings Fellows in three times each year: February 1, May 1, and October 1.
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